What is Rotavirus?
Rotavirus is a virus that causes severe diarrhea in humans. The illness, which often appears to be more severe than it actually is, can cause dehydration and death of the affected individual due to loss of fluids. Problems with rotavirus are most common among children below five years of age.
How is rotavirus spread?
It is usually contracted when a child eats food on which the virus has been deposited by an infected individual. In some cases, it can be transmitted from hand-to-mouth contact. However, there are also some strains of the infection that can be contracted through water or objects contaminated with the virus.
Some studies reveal that infants do not actually need to ingest any fluids containing rotavirus for contracting it – simply breathing in droplets containing the virus may lead to infection.
As such, touching the genitals or urinary tract of an infected individual could result in contracting the illness even if no bodily fluids are actually transferred between both individuals. Skin-to-skin contact appears to play a much more significant role than some might think.
Is there a cure or vaccine for rotavirus?
Unfortunately, no vaccine is available to prevent the contraction of the illness, which means infected individuals have to rely on their bodies’ own defense mechanisms to defeat it.
There are several drugs that can ease the symptoms of rotavirus, but none of them actually cures it – they only make the patient more comfortable by reducing vomiting and diarrhea. A person suffering from rotavirus must drink lots of fluids in order to avoid dehydration caused by fluid loss through vomiting and diarrhea. These are all common protocols used in treating rotavirus.
Rotavirus is a virus that infects the digestive system of humans. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and stomach pain. The infection is generally mild in most children, but it can be severe or deadly to babies under 2 years old. The rotavirus vaccine protects against Rotavirus gastroenteritis. (Source: CDC VPD)
Global distribution of the rotavirus vaccine:
The World Health Organization recommends four doses of Rotarix or RotaTeq for all infants worldwide who are 6 to 24 weeks old. (Source: WHO)
Protection against rotavirus infections:
Rotarix is a live vaccine. It uses weakened, or attenuated, forms of rotavirus to help the body develop immunity by mimicking natural infection with wild-type (normal) virus. RotaTeq is made up of five live reassortant rotavirus strains that have genes from human and non-human sources. These vaccines are given orally in a 3-dose series at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. The last dose should be given between ages 12 through 15 months.
There is no treatment for rotavirus infection, other than drinking lots of fluids to prevent dehydration. Rotarix and RotaTeq are approved for use in infants 6 to 14 weeks old.
No prescription or doctor’s visit is needed. severe allergic reaction Problems from the vaccine happen very rarely, but could be serious and may lead to hospitalization or death. The most common reactions are diarrhea, throwing up, fever, and pain at the injection site.
Rotavirus poop color:
The vaccine contains a small amount of sucrose, which is a type of sugar. The liquid form of the vaccine also may contain a small amount of neomycin to prevent bacterial growth after it is made. If your child has an allergy to any part of this vaccine, he or she should not get it.
OR There are no known problems if Rotarix or RotaTeq is given to infants with milk allergies.
It’s not likely that the liquid form of the vaccine will be harmful if it gets in the eyes, but you can rinse out the eyes with cool tap water for 15 minutes if they do get the liquid in them.
Keep track of any and all side effects your babies have after getting Rotarix or RotaTeq. If your baby develops a fever over 100.4, seems sluggish or very irritable, or has any unusual symptoms, call your doctor right away. Rotarix and RotaTeq may not protect ALL children who receive the vaccine. It depends on how well the particular vaccine works for each child.
Rotarix and RotaTeq can cause side effects that are similar to the symptoms of rotavirus gastroenteritis. Before getting the vaccine, let your doctor know if your child has ever had a serious allergic reaction to the medication neomycin. The most common side effect is usually an upset stomach or throwing up within 24 hours after getting Rotarix or RotaTeq.
There are no specific treatments for rotavirus diarrhea. The best way to manage diarrhea caused by the virus is to drink fluids that contain electrolytes (body salts) such as Pedialyte, Infalyte, or Gastrolyte.
Information about Rotarix:
We understand more about rotavirus disease in general than we do about the vaccines against it. Going into vaccination campaigns with little understanding of how well a vaccine works or even how common the disease is has led to limited benefits and unexpected adverse effects in the past.
Until recently, many experts predicted limited public health impact from infant rotavirus vaccination given that wild-type rotaviruses continued to circulate at high rates among young children globally. Their concern was that the vaccines will not provide sufficient protection against a virus that requires many mutations before it can escape immunologic pressure.
How long does rotavirus last:
The vaccine doesn’t provide complete protection against rotavirus gastroenteritis. For example, in pre-licensure clinical trials in which Rotarix was tested, 1 child in 35 receiving Rotarix alone and 1 child in 16 receiving placebo alone developed moderate to severe gastroenteritis from any cause.
In a post-marketing study of Rotarix involving various sites worldwide including the United States, it was shown that after completion of the 3 dose series of vaccines, more than 90% of children will be protected from severe rotavirus disease due to the serotypes contained within the vaccine.
Information about RotaTeq:
Since vaccinating with RotaTeq begins before a baby is exposed to rotavirus disease, it may provide protection against some of the most severe cases of rotavirus disease. In pre-licensure clinical trials with RotaTeq, 1 child in 7 receiving vaccines alone and 1 child in 12 receiving placebo developed moderate to severe gastroenteritis from any cause.
Information about Rotarix:
For example, a study published last year found that children who received Rotarix as infants had less diarrhea caused by other viruses as they got older compared with those who did not receive the vaccine. A different study also showed that children vaccinated as infants were less likely to have diarrhea caused by the bacterium Clostridium difficile as toddlers.
Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among infants and young children. Each year it kills around 195,000 infants worldwide. The only currently available vaccine against rotavirus infection was developed in the 1980s at the height of an epidemic in the United States that caused around 450,000 infections, 60 000 hospitalizations, and 20-60 deaths annually. While the number of cases has fallen by more than half since then, large numbers of children continue to be infected with rotavirus each year resulting in millions of outpatient visits for acute gastroenteritis.
The virus infects cells lining the small intestine which causes vomiting and profuse watery diarrhea. According to WHO Rotaviruses are responsible for about one-third of all diarrheal disease cases in children under five years of age.